I am walking to Wellworth Park in the village of Hook to meet the Rascally Trio and their proud mamma, Middle of the Darling Daughters. We have a date with the slide, the trampoline, the roundabout and swings. Not to forget
the “wonkey donkey.”
I am here in Hook staying for a few blessed days of rest and relaxation with the Youngest of the Darling Daughters and her family.
Because both these daughters live within a fifteen minute walk of each other, this means that, as their visitor, I get the Best of Both Worlds. As in, fun and frolics with the Rascals sandwiched between instalments of blissful peace and quiet in my home from
home with their auntie, known to the Trio as Kazza.
We have arranged to meet at the park and even before we arrive we can see the Trio racing towards us.
Faris the Rascal is astride his new bike wearing an awesome silver cycle helmet through which his sweet but mischievous face can only just about be seen. Tala, Eldest of the Twins by one important minute, is clad in jeans and tee-shirt, the perfect garb for
a playground workout. Her twin, Lilia (aka Contrary Lil) is dressed in her flowing Elsa princess dress, possibly the most unsuitable outfit for the occasion. While her siblings are riding bikes, she has insisted on taking her scooter, which she resorted to
carrying shortly after setting off for the playground, clasping it possessively to her front.
Oh, what fun in the playground! I particularly liked the fact that
among the many new pieces of equipment installed in the park is one of those old-fashioned horses with seats for five on the back (see photo) of the kind my own Foursome used to ride on Many Moons Ago. The old ones are the best ones, I tell my daughters. Though
I must make an exception for the Wonkey Donkey, a comical beast on a spring, which appears a much better, safer design than previous versions. I don’t even try to sit on its deep seat as I am pretty sure I won’t be able to extricate myself.
How embarrassing it would be to have to be hauled, unceremoniously, from a Wonkey Donkey by my grandchildren ...
After an hour in the park, we head back to Kazza’s
house where I have a surprise for each of the Trio in the shape of three of those incredibly expensive children’s magazines with plastic toys fastened alluringly on the front cover. I know, I know, I really shouldn’t be adding to the Single Use
Plastic Mountain but it’s not like I buy them every week and we did need to keep the Trio occupied.
I am a little worried because, of the three magazines,
two look particularly exciting while one looks rather, well, worthy. To explain, on the front of Young Faris’s magazine is all the wherewithal to make three toy lollipops while the toys on the front of Lilia’s include something called Unicorn Slime.
This (so her mother informs me) is every four year old’s current “must have.” By comparison, the toys on the front of Tala’s magazine are all Medical Related - a plastic stethoscope, thermometer, doctor’s watch and a tube of unspecified
medication. “Nanni picked it specially for you!” Kazza cunningly tells her niece - who immediately decides that her magazine is by far the best of the three.
Young Faris, having made his lollipops, is desperate to get his hands on some Unicorn Slime, while Contrary Lil is equally determined to keep hold of it at all costs. Oh, the negotiation! The endless bargaining! I am seriously considering sending a
whole consignment of Unicorn Slime to Number 10, Downing Street to assist our Prime Minister in future negotiations with Michel Barnier...
Meanwhile every member
of the family is being subject to a thorough examination by Dr Tala, has his or her heart checked, temperature recorded and ointment carefully applied to his or her “ouch.” We are all pronounced fit and well, which is a great relief to everyone.
Would you like to be a doctor one day?” we ask her. She gives the question due consideration before replying earnestly: “Maybe - otherwise I’d like to be a penguin...”
Love, love, love that girl of mine!